A liquor store lives and dies on its inventory. When your local store has the bottles in stock that customers love, those customers keep coming back. If their whiskey brand isn’t on the shelves this week, they’ll go across town. That missed opportunity could stick, as that customer continues to go to their new store because it has what they want. But with a liquor store point of sale system in place, you can avoid losing customers because your shelves had a temporary hole.
In fact, there’s a ton of cost-saving improvements a liquor store gets when it implements a POS system. Information is power, and without that information, a store just relies on luck. Smart businesses aren’t lucky; they’re right.
When shopping around for a liquor store POS system, owners need to make sure they’re answering the right questions. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s business critical amid a bunch of flashy-looking screens. The power in a POS system is not in what it looks like, but what it does.
Let’s take a look at four big questions you should ask any potential software vendor about their POS system.
How Do I Keep Track of Inventory?
It bears repeating: liquor stores are all about the inventory. Depending on state laws, that inventory could be just spirits or it could extend to beer and wine. Your customers walk into the store, scan the shelves, pick up their favorite after work drink, and check out at the register. Most of that interaction operates in a straightforward fashion. Unless their drink has gone missing from the shelf.
A liquor store point of sale system should be able keep a running count of what bottles and cans still sit in the stockroom. Every sale decreases the count of stored inventory until it’s time to reorder. When it it time to reorder? The POS system should be able to report on that, providing a listing of how many units of each SKU were sold per week. Not enough to cover another week? Call your vendors and get some more cases.
For liquor store owners who run multiple locations, a POS should be able to manage inventory at all locations together. Out of stock at one location? No problem, sell them a bottle from the other store, all without leaving the first location. The beauty of having your POS system manage inventory across multiple locations is that it makes a liquor store more agile. Got a run on merlot? Shift some supplies from your other store.
How Can I Tell What Sells Best?
It’s not enough just for a liquor store to have inventory on hand; it needs to have the right inventory. It needs shelves stocked with booze that moves instead of dusty bottles. Having a couple of bottles of high priced cognac might make a store memorable, but what keeps it in business are those that sell over and over.
Liquor store point of sale software can tell a store owner exactly what’s getting rung up at the register most. It doesn’t just count what goes in and out, it can crunch those numbers into useful reports. What’s selling this week? Is that different from last week? Did that sale on blueberry vodka help sales at all? A good POS system can generate reports that answer all these questions and more, so you can make the most of your limited shelf space.
Can I Track Individual Customer Behavior?
Customers – specifically, repeat customers – keep a liquor store’s lights on. Those work-a-day Joes who walk in and pick up their Friday night pints week after week are what any store owner wants to cultivate. If you know their orders week after week, an owner can throw them an incentive – 10% off their favorite tipple – to keep them walking in every Friday.
Store staff can’t do that by memory alone; no one can. But liquor store POS software remembers every sale that customer makes. It can track the favorites for each customer without breaking a digital sweat, then show the right incentives to give to maximize their experience and the store’s profits. It can help spot the customer who always buys the red wine on sale, so a store can give them a coupon for another red that may not be moving as well.
Will It Make Sure My Employees Are Effective?
At some point in every business, the owner has to go home and trust their employees to make the same level of sales. Traditionally, a store owner would just check the receipts and the inventory and hope they matched up. That’s a ton of leg work. If that owner wants to push a certain product through sales, that’s more counting and matching to do when they open.
Of course, there’s an easier way. POS systems count and match as they go and should be able to tie those numbers to the employees on duty at the time. If every shift the new hire works shows lower sales, then maybe someone need to talk to them. The system should cover all the basics of employee clock in and out, as well as allow incentives, like sales records or top seller awards. Nothing motivates like a leaderboard.
The flip side of good sales is theft, and a POS system should be able to spot any bottle that leaves inventory without an order. Nobody wants to doubt their staff – trust is hard to earn. But with a digital record of every order and every bottle, finding the mismatches becomes easier than ever.
Turning inventory into sales becomes much easier with a liquor store point of sale system. All the information is right there at your fingertips, ready to be turned into actions. Drive sales towards the products that increase your margins and keep the whole operation running smoothly.
Our current liquor store customers keep providing us with feedback on what they need in a POS system. Your store can benefit from what we’ve learned. For more information, contact us or try eHopper POS for free to see these functions and benefits in action. For additional information about the benefits POS systems provide to small businesses, check out our blog for new posts every week.